‘No Boyfriend Since Birth’ Review: Wordy romance
There's not much to the story of Jose Javier Reyes’ No Boyfriend Since Birth, but that is the least of the film’s many glaring problems. Even a film with the most generic plot can prove to be at least mildly entertaining, if it had the sense to embrace its own gibberish and be the ambitionless time-waster it was crafted to be.
No Boyfriend Since Birth however is utterly painful. It is needlessly talk-y, with its unremarkable visuals serving absolutely no function to the storytelling, except to display the tiring faces of the film’s many actors and actresses.
It is a film that can be consumed and understood with eyes closed. Its gloss is unappealing. Its rhythm is mostly off.
It is a film that is comprised mainly of dialogues that direct the story towards its predictable conclusion. It is all very lazy and uninspired, resulting in a make-believe romance that does not earn its fairy tale ending, at least for its unlucky viewers who have been unreasonably bombarded with too much chatter.
It’s only words
It would have been less damaging if No Boyfriend Since Birth were written with some sort of design in mind. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
The story is mainly about an aspiring wedding gown designer (Carla Abellana) who is suddenly faced with an opportunity to be reunited with the boy (Tom Rodriguez) she has been in love with since high school. She does everything to make the boy fall in love with her, except for the obvious, which is just to tell him that she likes him.
Because of that immense flaw in both logic and characterization, the film goes into this indulgent spree of conversations that have the characters air out emotions and dilemmas. Sure, the script written by Noreen Capili attempts to infuse humor and relevance into the lengthy dialogue by sprinkling Internet-age or pop culture references.
Sadly, those attempts only expose how frustratingly dumb and clueless the characters are and ultimately, how downright silly the film is.
And words are all it has
Abellana starts out endearing. However, she devolves into a character not worth rooting for. She makes mistakes that are not only telling of the confusion the film has with its characters but also sway the film towards an area of celebrating moral corruption, all for love. It just isn’t right.
Rodriguez is an annoyance. He chews his lines with all the gusto of a ravenous slacker but never really embodies a personality that is worth devoting a lifetime of virginity and lovelessness for. It also does not help that his character is severely underwritten.
If there is anything in the film that is worth commending, it is the performances of Mylene Dizon and Ricci Chan for roles that are more worthy of an entire film than the two lovebirds who are far from charming. This isn’t to say that the stereotypical savage boss and the love-thirsty gay best friend that Dizon and Chan play respectively are astounding creations. It is just that in a film this taxing, one is forced to scrape the very bottom of the barrel to maintain a semblance of interest in the material.
To take your cash away
The damage has been done. No Boyfriend Since Birth has been birthed into a market that craves for romances of whatever form and kind. It is bound to bamboozle with its sketchy story of a woman who ends up with a man she has been in love with for years. Sometimes, that is all it takes to grant that easy illusion of escape.
The most painful thing here is that it does not take much to elevate a tale as old as time to be something more than just an exercise of soulless repetition. It is satisfied at being nothing more than a trifle to be forgotten as soon as the credits start rolling. – Rappler.com
Francis Joseph Cruz litigates for a living and writes about cinema for fun. Thefirst Filipino movie he saw in the theaters was Carlo J. Caparas’ 'Tirad Pass.' Since then, he’s been on a mission to find better memories with Philippine cinema. Profile photo by Fatcat Studios